National Center for
1F0V: Crystal Structure Of An Rnase A Dimer Displaying A New Type Of 3d Domain Swapping
Nat. Struct. Biol. (2001) 8 p.211-214
Bovine pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase A) forms two types of dimers (a major and a minor component) upon concentration in mild acid. These two dimers exhibit different biophysical and biochemical properties. Earlier we reported that the minor dimer forms by swapping its N-terminal alpha-helix with that of an identical molecule. Here we find that the major dimer forms by swapping its C-terminal beta-strand, thus revealing the first example of three-dimensional (3D) domain swapping taking place in different parts of the same protein. This feature permits RNase A to form tightly bonded higher oligomers. The hinge loop of the major dimer, connecting the swapped beta-strand to the protein core, resembles a short segment of the polar zipper proposed by Perutz and suggests a model for aggregate formation by 3D domain swapping with a polar zipper.